Today it is 150 years since the club began. I have achieved my personal goal and delivered 150 years in 150 days. I was slightly wrong in counting the days so there will be one more blog tomorrow for 2020 and then I’ll have a rest.😂 I will also look at some of the changes over the last 50 years and the impact they have had and some of the significant members and their contribution to the club. Many thanks to all the older members who have read the blog and given me such positive feedback. Thanks for sticking with it and the club. It has been an epic journey-again!😉
In 2019, as I was not secretary, I have had to summarize the report produced by the club. Unfortunately the number of wins the club had is not recorded but I have included wins that were Championships as they were documented.
This year our rowers competed in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia. Teagan Blythe, has been selected on the Australian Rowing Team in the Women’s Junior Coxed Four to compete at the World Junior Rowing Championships in Japan in August. On a State level, two of our rowers Felix Oliver and Teagan Blythe were selected on Victorian pathway teams to compete against other states at the junior trials. Coxswain, Eyrin McCarthy was selected as cox of the Victorian Women’s Masters Eight that competed at the Australian Masters Rowing Championships in Perth.
Club Awards were presented at the Annual Dinner to be held at the Ballarat Golf Club on Friday August 16. The Danny Elliott Most Successful trophy again went to Kathy Lloyd; The Norm Angow Club Person of The Year was Brad Jessup and the Kate Elliott Most Successful Junior Rower went to Felix Oliver. Most Improved Rower was Lisa Beckwith Mentz and a special award for the Most Outstanding Performance went to Teagan Blythe.
This year has seen significant increases in revenue from memberships as the membership fees and fees charged for Learn to Row and Winter sculling increased every year. With the increasing memberships it was always a problem to provide adequate and competent coaching. While it was financially sound to increase membership, the type of member being recruited was very short term and would not always benefit the club in the long term. Upgrading the Boatshed continued this year with new black rubber flooring being put into the gym and the cleaning-out of the room under the stairs and the second room in the downstairs foyer. The cleaning of the second room enabled the club to rent this space to Surfing Victoria for two months for the storage of stand-up paddleboards. The most significant boatshed expenditure has been the ongoing replacement of the large windows in the upstairs hall. A lot of expense was incurred in the replacement of broken and collapsing ceiling panels in the boat bays which someone thought threatened to damage our boat fleet. In fact that the ceiling had been like that since 1979 when Albie McGuire and Bob Angow replaced the hall floor. After they had pulled up all the boards, one night Nick O’Brien was walking across the bearers and fell through the plaster. The ceiling had been in that condition for 40 years and had not been a problem.
The other significant change to the boatshed has been the updating of the racking on the south wall which has enabled an increase in boat storage as well as the manufacture of rolling boat racks for boats stored on bottom racks. Bernie Holloway and Michael Blythe donated their time to manufacture the rolling racks. Once again grants were applied for to upgrade toilets and change rooms but they were again unsuccessful.
Reference checks on anyone who coaches or has contact with our junior members were begun. In addition to our Club policies and procedures, there are also information posters throughout the Club so that young members know what policies have put in place to protect them and who they can contact if they have any concerns. In the coming year there were plans to have a Junior Rowers Committee so junior members have a greater say in the Club.
The club celebrated the christening of a Swift coxed quad/four in honour of Anthony Edwards, a five-time Olympian, triple Olympic medallist, World Champion and six-time Australian National Champion. As he christened the boat, Anthony spoke of beginning his sculling career at Ballarat City and being selected on his first Australian team and then his first Olympic team as a Ballarat City rower. From 1990 to 1998 he was coached by Danny Elliott from schoolboy sweep rower to Victorian and National Champion and selection to the Australian Team from 1992-1997 including selection for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Danny not only coached him but also bought a scull and oars for his use as the boats the club had were simply not competitive at the higher levels.
Ballarat City attended 16 regattas including the Australian Masters Rowing Championships held at Champion Lakes Western Australian. Charlotte Ashley and Teagan Blythe won the Female D double scull at Victorian Championships Nagambie. Novice Masters crew Anita Houlihan, Lisa Mentz, Kirsty Nankivell and Bridget Clarke won the Female Novice four championship. Kathy Lloyd with 43 races entered, 29 finals with 13 Gold, 7 Silver and 7 Bronze medals. These rowers, Anita Houlihan, Annette Weir, Danielle Foley, Kathryn Mills, Kathy Lloyd, Kellie Dunn, Lisa Mentz, Meg Merrylees and Sue Peacock attended the Australian Masters Rowing Championships in Western Australia and bought home 1 gold,2 silver and 3 bronze medals.
(Thanks Tim for spotting the typo👍)